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Digital Age Of Future: Humans Collaborating With Machines

We may not require a crystal ball to gaze into how the next generations will live 50 years hence, but we’re definitely getting a taste of it- and we like it !

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The word “Digital” is used so often and encompasses such a vast array of things that it could define anything from a simple wristwatch mechanism to an entire stratosphere of cloud solutions. The adage of “the only thing that’s constant is change’ has never held more true; technology has been and continues to be the harbinger of economic and financial evolution of mankind, and the future looks even more dramatic.

If you are still skeptical, just look towards the movies from Hollywood, and you might agree that the entire genre of science fiction doesn’t look that fantastical anymore. The idea of man and machines co-working to build never-thought of technological solutions is no longer relegated to just screenplays and novels, they have emerged out of the blueprints- and they are everywhere.

Borrowing a term coined by Eric Schmidt, ex-CEO of Google, mankind has reached, what he calls, ‘Augmented Humanity’ where is technology seeped into almost everything we do in our daily lives; it adds an additional layer or layers of technical support (either via software or hardware) to make a process much more efficient.

Here are 3 ways where human-machine collaborations are or will be making waves in the next few years:

•  Getting Apped! – We have apps for everything today; food home delivery, booking tickets, finding the nearest oncologist or paying our bills.

Similarly, HR apps opened up an entire universe of simplified employee experience, giving them far greater autonomy to manage their own employee-data and have brought them much closer to their organizations, because they feel that they are being valued by their firm. A simple thing like a leave request, which earlier would at least a few days to process, is completed in a matter of minutes, because there are internal triggers with defined timelines for everyone involved, so your boss cannot just sit on your request anymore!

•  Computers talking your language!
– Using Natural Language processing technology, computers are becoming more human and less machine. By understanding the nuances of language, technology companies are able to establish an equation with the customer or user very quickly and ensure they remain ‘sticky’ customers. Also, because the NLP is able to extract pertinent information from a sea of data, companies have a far higher accuracy of data and are able to deliver an almost customized service to each of their users.

For example, NLP embedded in HR technology solutions can give phenomenal insights to customer preference via groundbreaking analytics. Lets say basic analytics find that an employee shows a trend of staying in a particular chain of hotels, maybe because he has a membership, and therefore gains points, or just because he likes the brand. The system, using NLP may prompt the user via a chatbot, the next time he searches for hotel rooms and suggest offers or schemes currently running in the hotel brand, or even let him know that he can link his membership number with another allied Hotel so that he can reap maximum benefits, something that he might have been unaware of otherwise. The chatbot, assessing the words that you have used in all your past chats will be able to intelligently generate a chat conversation using the same kind of language that you might have used, so much so that it would be easy forget that you are talking to a machine and not a human.

Similarly, Career Planning exercises can get far more streamlined because NLP can identify tangible development areas of each employee based on their appraisals and their own feedback of their performance. Recruitments will become a breeze because NLP could indicate who might leave and how to retain them, or which recruitment channel is better for a particular search, or prompt you immediately on how many candidates fit the bill as soon as a search made active. This will help you avoid the cost of engaging with a search partner, because you already have resumes of relevant candidates that have been culled for you by the system.

•    Intelligent Personal Assistants will become Family! – Virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri etc will become more like a personal valet/ housekeeper/ nanny/ chauffer all put together.

When it comes to HR applications, Virtual assistants could tell you how many tasks you have for the day, automatically schedule interviews by reaching out to candidates, or even suggest which other restaurants you can consider for a client dinner, based on your previous reservations. They will become your virtual limbs and do all the legwork for you. Sounds absolutely perfect!We believe that intelligent personal assistants will be the first to get integrated with our daily work-lives, because they will take over the drudgery for us. Since all your devices will be linked to each other, your VPA (Virtual Personal Assistant) could hop between devices too.

Imagine scheduling a client meeting for tomorrow morning and putting it on your calendar via your email application on your desktop. The next morning, your VPA on your smartphone could pop up a window saying your boss, from whom you were awaiting approvals for a project sanction, is going to be out of office after lunch, and so you might want to reschedule your client meeting so that you can get those approvals first. Simple things like these will help you organize your day better and improve your overall efficiency.

We may not require a crystal ball to gaze into how the next generations will live 50 years hence, but we’re definitely getting a taste of it- and we like it!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
digitalisation human resources

Mrigank Tripathi

The author is Vice President, Human Capital Management, PeopleStrong

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